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Primal Journal - Dash

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  • Primal Journal - Dash

    Today is a super exciting day for me since I just finished my last ever exam at university! This also means that I have about month of hanging around in Scotland until I graduate in the end of June and return to the States. So... no university, no job, no commitments, I don't think there will ever be a better time to do a 30-day challenge!

    I discovered PB back in February and have been fairly faithful in following it. I've always been a "health conscious" (CW style, of course) meat eater and have tried to avoid processed food and exercise regularly, so a lot of the PB has come pretty naturally to me. I am a fairly healthy weight (though at the higher end of ideal) and have never put myself on any kind of seriously restrictive diet, nor do I have any food intolerances or allergies that I know of, so I don't feel my body has had to go through too bad of a "recovery phase" since going primal.

    What really trips me up is stress! For the first couple of weeks when I started PB I lost a few pounds and felt fantastic but then second semester started up.... and of course the stress drove me to let exercise slide and introduce some regular self medication with chocolate and home baked treats (whole grain sourdough treats, but still....). So now with exams over I feel like I'm back in control of my stress and my appetite!

    So my goals for the next thirty days are as follows:

    1. Relax and enjoy life!

    2. Get moving every day. Go for walks in the morning and sprint once or twice a week, also incorporate some strength training (I'm going to give Simple Fit a try, probably at around level 4)

    3. Cut out all dairy (which I've been resisting until now, I love yogurt and cheese!) except butter for cooking and the occasional splash of heavy cream on berries. Keep track of carbs and keep the weekly average below 75 (or even down to 50 if I can manage it!)

    4. Incorporate intermittent fasting once or twice a week.

    5. Lose some fat and gain some muscle. (I'll keep track of this with a measuring tape rather than a scale since the only scale I can use is my flatmate's Wii Fit and all its little comments drive me nuts...)

    I use Cron-O-Meter, so every day I'll post meals, total calories and fat/protein/carb breakdown as well as any primal exercise I've done.

    Needless to say I've got a lot of spare time now, so I'll be more than happy to respond to comments and questions!

  • #2
    That looks like an awsome plan to me! I am so jelous! Checked out that Cron-O-Meter, looks intresting. (and free=Bonus)


    • #3
      Thanks, fxdwgmikeb! Here's hoping I can stick to it! Yeah, Cronometer is great (link!). It uses the same database as fitday, as far as I can tell, but I like that you use on your computer rather than online and can add your own recipes.

      Here's the run down for today:

      B: 1 thick slice streaky bacon, 6 pickled mussels, some sauerkraut, 1/2 cup of frozen berry mix topped with dried coconut and double cream

      L: salad of canned tuna with raw spinach and broccoli, dressing of home made banana/date chutney, olive oil and balsamic vinegar

      D: a chunk of Atlantic coley, broccoli and zucchini cooked in a butter/lard combo with salsa

      Snacks: celebratory post-exam chocolate, leftover lamb, spoonful of dried coconut

      1874 calories
      100 g protein (lots of fish today!)
      66 g carbs
      137 g fat

      Exercise: Half hour walk this morning, followed by two hours of brain torture :-P

      Confessions: In addition to 25g of 70% chocolate I had four squares of Cadbury's dairy milk. However it was in the name of post exam celebration, so I guiltlessly enjoyed it!

      Plans: I saw tons of snails on my walk this morning, apparently they are edible if you catch them and feed them cabbage leaves for a week to cleanse their systems... escargot anyone?? :-D
      Last edited by dash; 05-21-2010, 10:13 AM.


      • #4
        Got quite hungry in the evening so add a spoonful of cream and a bit more dried coconut to the above! (1978 calories, 148 g fat in total) I'm thinking I should get a fresh coconut and maybe some avocados for evening snacking purposes. I'm trying to listen to my body as far as how much I need to eat and it seems like it's not happy unless it's getting right around 2000 calories, though it will be interesting to see if this changes with lower carb intake (I was often above 100g before starting my challenge). I'm going to stay active with plenty of walking and since I'm adding in strength training starting on Monday I want there to be some muscle building going on!

        Today's run down:

        B: Egg cooked in butter, mussels, home made sauerkraut and berries with cream and coconut

        L: Ate out but stayed (pretty much) primal, chicken and bacon salad with honey mustard dressing (there wasn't too much of it and it wasn't super sweet) also added to the salad the two pats of butter meant for the bread :-D

        D: Curry with leftover lamb, red pepper and cabbage

        S: Was still quite low on calories and feeling quite hungry after dinner so had half a banana mixed with coconut, cream and some unsweetened cocoa powder

        1922 calories
        72 g protein
        72 g carbs
        154 g fat

        Exercise: Went shopping in Dundee for the day, so several hours of walking around, much of it outside in the beautiful sunshine :-)

        It's supposed to be cloudy and a bit damp this evening, so I'm going to go snail "hunting" tomorrow morning! :-D What could be more primal than cabbage-fed snails fried in garlic butter?


        • #5
          It was warm and drizzly yesterday morning, so I had nice walk before breakfast to collect snails! I now have a few dozen in various tupperware containers feasting on cabbage leaves. I am quite lucky that I have a tolerant flatmate :-P She's a French student, so she's even agreed to assess the authenticity of my escargot when they're finally ready to eat!

          Here's a link detailing the process I'm following to make the snails safe and tasty to eat: Eating Garden Snails

          After my walk I held of eating breakfast until about 9.30am (and had a slightly bigger breakfast) to see if it would reduce my urge to snack during the day. It seemed to work quite well, though it probably has something to do with the reduced carb intake as well.

          Yesterday's breakdown:

          1834 calories
          83 g protein
          49 g carbs
          148 g fat

          B: two eggs cooked in butter, mussels, sauerkraut, berries with cream and coconut

          L: lamb ribs and broccoli with a sliced cucumber salad (not sure how accurate I was entering the lamb ribs, the bones made it hard to guess the weight that I actually ate and the exact cut wasn't in Cronometer)

          D: roast chicken with zucchini and red pepper in mole sauce (first time I've made mole sauce, it turned out delicious!)

          Snacks: a quarter of an avocado and half the crispy brown buttery skin from the roast chicken (my flatmate devoured the other half)

          Exercise: Several half hour-ish walks throughout the day, so probably about 1 hour and 20 min of total walking time.

          So far today I'm doing an IF for breakfast and am currently making chicken stock from yesterday's chicken carcass.


          • #6
            I have been feeling fantastic the last few days. I'm really terrible at identifying when I'm stressed, so all this semester I thought I was handling everything just fine. Then the crunch before finals hit and I finally started to realize how much I was stressing... was a little less than 80/20 on PB, got pushed in to some emotional eating, gained a bit of weight, etc. Now that I'm done (like, really done, I'm graduating soon! ) I feel like I'm climbing out a horrible stress filled hole and into the summer sunshine! It has often felt that I'm a different person 9 months out of the year and summer is my only chance to be my relaxed happy self.

            University has been a useful experience though, at the end of the day. I now know that I'm going get as far away from academia as possible, it's really not a good fit for me at all! I know that I would never be happy in a mentally stressful indoor job and that I should steer very clear of living in a city. So on the basis of summer work I've done, I've been applying for outdoor education jobs that are close to home (another thing, living overseas really hasn't helped!). I'm looking forward to being relaxed, living less than a day's journey from home and never being under such constant stress ever again.

            So, with all the mental stress gone, I feel like I can introduce IFing back into my life again. It wasn't exactly planned, but I was feeling good and energetic this morning so I decided to fast until lunch.

            B: IF, plenty of water

            L: pollack and mussels with butter, salsa and dried coconut over a spinach, cucumber, carrot and sauerkraut salad.

            D: Chicken, bacon and avocado salad with fennel, apple and spinach.

            Snacks: a few berries with coconut and cream after lunch and few squares of 85% chocolate after dinner

            1298 calories
            92 g protein
            48 g carbs
            83 g fat

            According to my Cronometer summaries, I've been a bit short of some vitamins and minerals over the last few days, so I'm going to pull some chicken liver pate out of the freezer as my "vitamin pill". Perhaps on top of an egg for breakfast... that would be pretty hard core

            All in all, today was a delicious day!


            • #7
              I got so excited about the food I totally forgot to mention the exercise!

              A good half hour of walking today and also my first day of Simple Fit. I did Day 1 of Level 4 today and managed 16 rounds in the 20 minutes. However I am substituting body rows for pull ups (3 body rows for 1 pull up) and am still doing push ups on my knees, both because I lack upper body strength and because I had some rotator cuff issues a few years ago (from playing tennis in high school), which can get aggravated if I push it too hard. The squats felt good, I can tell they're really hitting all the muscle groups, and my arms were quite wobbly by the end, so I bet I'll have some nice muscle soreness tomorrow


              • #8
                Still feeling great. Getting quite introspective and a bit down in the evenings, since for various reasons I don't have many friends nearby and my family is of course still in the States. So when my flatmate is out in the evening it can get a bit lonely! Also makes me realize how much I depended on my boyfriend (now ex) for socializing... Perhaps a good thing to be aware of about myself, I need to focus more on making and keeping friends.

                The MDA post awhile back about the power of touch really struck a chord with me. I'm am not a touchy feely person, so I only really get physical contact either from a significant other or family, friends only rarely, so in living away from my family and being without a boyfriend for the past 9 months I could probably count on my hands the number of hugs I've had! But ah well, I'll get the live squeezed out of me by my grandmother and some tamer hugs from my parents when they come over for graduation in about three weeks. But it is very interesting how the lack of physical contact has had an affect on me.

                So here's the run down from yesterday:

                B: a little leftover lamb, fried egg, mussels, sauerkraut, a few fresh strawberries with coconut

                L: ate out again, had a beetroot, walnut and blue cheese salad as the appetizer and then a Thai prawn salad. Portions far too small, but both were very tasty.

                D: home made buffalo burgers (there's a water buffalo farm in Fife!), with sweet potato fries fried in beef tallow, raw spinach and fennel and slow cooked onions and mushrooms in balsamic vinegar

                Snacks: was still quite hungry after such a light lunch, so had a big slice of avocado and several spoonfuls of dried coconut

                Quite a carby day because of the sweet potato fries, but it was a bit a celebratory meal, since my flatmate had just finished her exams.

                1985 calories
                95 g protein
                90 g carbs
                145 g fat

                Exercise: Plenty of walking (it's nice living in a "walkable" town), probably about an hour.


                • #9
                  A good day today, the job search is going well, so I'll probably have a job by the time I graduate, which is fabulous!

                  Here's today:

                  B: fried egg with sauerkraut, cucumber carrot and mussels, a few fresh strawberries with coconut and cream

                  L: salad with fish - spinach, cucumber, carrot, avocado, salsa, coconut, pollock

                  D: home made Thai green curry with leftover lamb shoulder, zucchini and yellow pepper

                  Snacks: fresh coconut while I was grating it make coconut milk, yum!

                  1857 calories
                  81 g protein
                  64 g carbs
                  148 g fat

                  Exercise: sprints in the morning, a short walk before lunch, and Simple Fit day 2 level four in the afternoon

                  I also managed to brave my flatmate's irritating Wii balance board this morning (like the micosoft paper clip... but worse) and weigh myself to get a start point. At the moment I am 142 pounds (at 5' 5"), waist is at 29.5", hips 39". I'd like to concentrate on the measurements more than the weight, since I'd like to build some muscle as well as losing fat, though I expect the weight will settle some where between 135 and 140, if all goes well!


                  • #10
                    Hey Dash

                    We're on the same page as far as seperating from acadamia and finding a way to work outside. Where in the states are you from?

                    Im also working on eliminating all dairy from my diet. Stuffs so delicious... my body doesnt repsond well to it tho, so that helps me stay away.

                    just curious, do you have a bad reaction to dairy or are you eliminating it to eat cleaner?


                    • #11
                      Hey MeatMe, I'm from eastern PA. I'm still on the job hunt but I'll probably end up working somewhere in the Adirondacks or Catskills, I'm pretty excited to get outside again! Dairy has never caused any problems for me, but I have a tendency to snack too much on cheese if it's around, so I thought it might do me good to do without it for awhile. I agree that dairy is super delicious. I got really in to making my own yogurt, sour cream and buttermilk for a while, and I love the variety of cheese there is in the world! :-P

                      So, I know I've missed a journal day, but here is yesterday's run down:

                      B: IF

                      L: Spicy lamb kidneys on top of some raw veg, a bit of home made sour cream and home made salsa

                      D: Fried egg, strip of bacon, and mussels on top of watercress with more salsa and sour cream

                      Snacks: coconut milk, some nut/seed mix with herbs and dried veggies, a few spoonfuls of dried coconut

                      I also had a couple mini chocolates in the afternoon at a friend's house, which I think is what made me so snacky in the evening! Wasn't worth it in hindsight, they weren't nearly as good as the 85% Green and Blacks that I have in the house!

                      1780 calories
                      70 g protein
                      73 g carbs
                      141 g fat

                      Exercise: About 45 min of walking, I was meant to do day 3 of Simple Fit but completely forgot, so will be doing it today.


                      • #12
                        The adirondaks is my favorite place! i've been going the the high peaks regions atleast once a year since i was little. My family is going to lake placid for a week in the end of july, i cant wait.

                        My backup plan is to go to heart lake and be a live-in trail steward.

                        Good look on your job hunt. what did you study in scotland?


                        • #13
                          Thanks MeatMe! I'm hoping to hear something soon! I studied German and Russian, which was a lot of fun. Even though I got a bit sick of the academic side of things, I still find languages really interesting, though not interesting enough to pursue a career in them! What did you study at college? I take it you're on the job hunt as well?

                          Been slacking a bit on keeping track with this journal, but I've been sticking to the plan pretty well anyway! Saturday was Eurovision so I stayed up late and pigged out a bit, but at least it was on Primal approved dinner/snacks! I went over to a friends house to watch and even though everyone else was having lasagne she was super accommodating and provided me with some eggs, bacon and goats cheese to make a delicious omelette and there was also plenty of delicious greek salad. She even got me a nut/seed/dried fruit mix to snack on while everyone else had dessert! It's a bit strange for me making the change from someone whose food needs are super simple and uncomplicated to being that strange person who has to explain what they will and won't eat, but I'm getting used to it and I have a whole new appreciation for people willing to accommodate my weirdness :-P

                          So yeah, after having far too much nut/dried fruit mix on Saturday night I went hillwalking all day Sunday, which was fantastic. It's the first time I've done any full day hiking on a fully primal diet and I really felt the difference of not being dependent on carbs. Since I was snacking until about 11.30pm the night before, I easily skipped breakfast, despite the fact that I was doing some fairly intense hillwalking all morning. I packed primal friendly food for lunch (two hardboiled eggs, chunks of fresh coconut, an avocado and an emergency banana, which I didn't even eat) So despite the very low carbs I was happy and energetic all day. I'm looking forward to attempting some longer trips with primal food!

                          Yesterday was a chill/recovery day. I was sore enough from hillwalking that I skipped Simple Fit again, so I'll be getting back on track with that soon!

                          Here's the run down for yesterday:

                          B: Egg, mussels, home made sauerkraut and salsa, berries with coconut

                          L: Mexican spiced lamb kidneys with avocado and home made sour cream with a small bowl of home made chicken soup

                          D: Lamb heart stew

                          Snacks: Slice of Swiss cheese that no one wanted (someone had to eat it!), bits of lamb from the breast of lamb I was roasting and a few slices of the beets that prepared for pickling. (I like to snack while I cook, obviously :-P)

                          1804 calories
                          105 g protein
                          68 g carbs
                          126 g fat

                          Started off today with an IF until lunchtime, which comes quite naturally now if I've had a snack later in the evening and/or sleep in a bit in the morning. I'm really feeling very much in control of my hunger now.


                          • #14
                            Thats great that your friends were so accomodating. mmmmm goats cheese

                            Im not on the job hunt right now, quite the opposite. Music was my main focus through highschool, but one year of studying music in college ruined it for me and i switched to computer graphics. Finished school and worked behind a computer for a few years and was miserable. Went back to music, but this time from a more artistic approach. I can get jobs reading for musicals and stuff, but I prefer the bar/rock scene right now. I have a part time position in the mornings doing computer graphics for 4 hours a day, mon-fri and that is more than enough to supplement my music earnings.

                            My goals now are to be fully self employed. I want open a farm, raise animals and lots of veggies. If I were to go back and study anything it would be sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and aquaponics.

                            Im envious of people who are multilingual and regret not pursuing that more in school. Ive downloaded rosetta stone many times, but have yet to commit to it.

                            Keep enjoying all that lamb! yummmmmmmy!